New Trade Group Tackles E-Mail Lists

by , Nov 16, 2005, 6:00 AM
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A group of online marketing executives are forming a new trade organization, Online Lead Generation Association, Inc., to develop best practices for gathering the opt-in e-mail lists that are sold to third parties.

Daniel Felter, CEO of Opt-Intelligence Inc. and one of the founders of the new group, said the initiative grew out of the burgeoning market in selling e-mail lists gleaned from information that consumers provide when they register for Web sites. Revenues from referrals and lead generation came to $347 million--or 6 percent of all online ad revenue--in the first half of this year, according to a September report by the Interactive Advertising Bureau.

Many sites ask registrants whether they want to receive e-mail newsletters from third parties, but those sites don't all go about this process in the same way, Felter said. As a result, some users who sign up might actually be interested in receiving the e-mails, but others will send them straight to the recycle bin.

"Advertisers are starting to hear this buzz about online lead generation and co-registration," Felter said. "But I don't think they really understand how to go about it, and what processes they should focus on to make sure they get good, quality leads."

He added that requiring users to accept at least some e-mail offers as a condition of registration probably does not result in high-quality leads. "That, in our opinion, is not a very friendly user experience."

Other founders of the group are Stephan Pretorius, president of acceleration eMarketing; Chris Redlitz, president of Feedster; and Kitt Collier Odukoya, director of online marketing, EarthLink.

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